Exploring resilience for sustainable cocoa at Women in Cocoa and Chocolate Network event

Women in Cocoa and Chocolate Network (WINCC), established by Solidaridad, organized their fourth event in cooperation with the World Cocoa Foundation and The Hershey Company. The event brought together 70 women on 26 October in Hershey, Pennsylvania (USA), to explore the topic of building a resilient and sustainable cocoa sector. The aim was to connect, engage and inspire women to accelerate change and contribute to the sustainability of cocoa production and prosperous cocoa communities.

As the first female CEO of The Hershey Company, Michele Buck (middle) shares her experience to inspire other women in the sector

Building a resilient value chain

This was the fourth WINCC event which brought together female professionals working in cocoa and chocolate companies, governments, NGOs, donor organizations and other supply chain actors. It was a full-day, engaging programme which involved learning about inspirational leadership, networking, meeting role models, and sharing information and success stories. Participants were also active in working group discussions about improving the resilience of cocoa-producing communities through access to education, finance and nutrition.

We are pleased to host the WINCC event at our headquarters in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Women play a key role in improving the resilience and sustainability of the cocoa value chain and we are making great progress on this front. Together with women across the cocoa industry, I see our greatest days ahead of us. – Michele Buck, the first female CEO of The Hershey Company

Read more about this event in the online cocoa sector journal, Confectionery News: "A long way to go" to equality for women cocoa farmers

Women in Cocoa & Chocolate Network, 2017


Solidaridad launched the Women in Cocoa and Chocolate Network (WINCC) in 2016 due to a strong desire to take the next step towards broader engagement for sector transformation. It is essential to stimulate the discussion about the position and empowerment of women throughout the entire value chain. Together as a group, the network can encourage and empower female leadership at all levels. The aim is to grow the network, contributing to the quality and long-term sustainability of interventions.

The WINCC Network connects members through events and (online) networking, engages through learning and growing professionally, and inspires women to take leadership.

The network’s vision is to use the full potential of women to contribute to a sustainable and inclusive cocoa value chain. Its mission is to remove barriers to the participation of women throughout the value chain and empowering women to increase their sphere of influence.

Learn more about Solidaridad programmes for sustainable cocoa

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